NASCAR Driver Roles and Responsibilities
NASCAR is the body that governs hundreds of stock car races each year throughout the United States. The drivers themselves are employed by an individual NASCAR team that participates in these sanctioned races. The team usually includes an owner, driver, sponsors, engine mechanics, pit crews, and more. The driver is paid by the owner and sponsor to participate and win races, which would include bonus prize money and accolades. Not all teams will have the same driver for all races and teams can have multiple drivers; some teams will have full time and some will have part-time drivers.
The driver is responsible for driving at speeds over 200 miles an hour, maintaining contact with the crew chief to develop strategies, and making pit stops all throughout the races.
Years of training and constant practice are required to drive at such a competitive level. Drivers must be physically and mentally sharp to keep up with the competition and have years of experience to prove they are worthy of joining a NASCAR team.
A lot of work goes into being a NASCAR driver; while the obvious job of drivers is to drive competitively, they have other roles outside of the vehicle. Drivers commonly are required to do promotions for sponsors, sign autographs, and participate in interviews before or after races.
Becoming a NASCAR driver is certainly no easy task and it requires intense amounts of effort and commitment to actually reach the NASCAR level. The training must start at a young age, practicing and volunteering at local race tracks to get your foot in the door. Go-karts could be an excellent start before moving up to racing real cars on real raceways. It is also important to learn the mechanics of the cars and study other professional drivers to gain a proper understanding of the sport.
Once properly trained, it is important to participate in smaller local races to distinguish yourself and get a feel for competitive racing. Becoming a part of a NASCAR team by volunteering for the pit crew or securing an internship through NASCAR are also great ideas to strengthen your racing resume.
Attending a racing school and gaining a competitive license are crucial steps to achieving the dream of becoming a professional race car driver. Keep in mind, you don't need to purchase your own vehicle to be a NASCAR driver!
Finally, you need to keep yourself in top physical and mental shape to withstand the heat, G-forces, and intense pressure that driving at hundreds of miles an hour puts on your body. After dedicating all this time into becoming a NASCAR driver, the final step is to use your experience to distinguish yourself to a NASCAR team and convince them that you are the driver that can help them win.
List of Famous NASCAR Drivers
Over the years, there have been some unbelievable drivers that also have the accolades to show for it. These drivers are some of the most legendary drivers NASCAR has ever seen.
- Richard Petty
- Dale Earnhardt Sr.
- David Pearson
- Jeff Gordon
- Jimmie Johnson
Richard Petty is hands down the best driver NASCAR has ever seen. He dominated the sport in nearly every year he participated and holds so many NASCAR records that it is hard to keep track. Some of the records he holds are: Most NASCAR championships (tied at 7), most wins (200), most races (1,184), and more including most poles, top five finishes, and top ten finishes.
Dale Earnhardt Sr.
Dale Earnhardt Sr. is one of the most widely recognized names in NASCAR. He is tied with Petty and Johnson for most NASCAR championships at seven and boasts 76 cup series wins. He was well on his way to breaking even more records before his tragic death in the 2001 Daytona 500. His legacy would live on through his son Dale Earnhardt Jr. who has also left his mark on NASCAR history.
David Pearson is second in all-time wins with 105. It was said that he was the reason that Petty became so successful because their competition was so close. Pearson was the only driver that could compete with Petty and at times was the one to beat him during their historic races.
Jeff Gordon is a common name in the sport of NASCAR due to his large sponsorship and advertising role. When he entered the sport he took over almost immediately and claimed four championships throughout his career to achieve second place in championships. He is also third in all-time wins with 93 and is second in top ten finishes with 477.
Jimmie Johnson is also tied for the most championships with seven, and could soon break that record. He is the highest paid NASCAR driver at this time and holds the record for most consecutive championships with five throughout 2006 to 2010.
Do NASCAR drivers wear diapers?
Most NASCAR drivers do not wear diapers during the race. However, most drivers like Brad Keslowski or Dale Earnhardt Jr. state that they do not have to go during the race almost ever. If the time comes, then the time comes and drivers will just go without a diaper but these instances are rare.
Who are the richest NASCAR drivers?
NASCAR drivers who are at the top of the sport generate millions of dollars each and every year for themselves and their teams. The most valuable drivers of all time include Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($300mil), Jeff Gordon ($150mil), Jimmie Johnson ($120mil), and Ken Schrader ($75mil). Most of the most valuable drivers are modern drivers as revenue from the sport has jumped in modern times.